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N-acetylglucosamine 6-Phosphate Deacetylase (nagA) Is Required for N-acetyl Glucosamine Assimilation in Gluconacetobacter xylinus (Paper)

N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) is a major component of structural polymers in bacteria, plants, and animals. Chitin, a homopolymer of GlcNAc, is a structural material in many invertebrates, bacteria, fungi and algae (especially some diatoms) . However, both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria contain GlcNAc as a main constituent of their cell wall peptidoglycan. Since GlcNAc is potentially a good energy and nitrogen source, one might hypothesize that GlcNAc uptake is a widespread phenotype among bacteria. However, the mechanism of GlcNAc uptake and subsequently its metabolism machinery in the cytoplasm has been studied in only a few bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Vibrio furnissii, and Caulobacter crescentus. Upon uptake, in the cytoplasm GlcNAc may take two metabolic routs i.e., (i) phopshorylation to GlcNAc-6-phosphate followed by deacetylation by nagA and subsequently production of either fructose-6-phosphate or UDP-GlcNAc; or (ii) it may directly enter in to cell wall peptidoglycan biosynthesis pathway. The product of these pathways UDP-GlcNAc, is a ubiquitous and essential metabolite and plays important roles in several metabolic processes. In bacteria, it is known as a major cytoplasmic precursor of cell wall peptidoglycan and the disaccharide moiety of some lipids. In eukaryotes, it serves as the substrate for chitin synthase, whose product chitin is a essential structural component for fungal cell wall. It is also used in the GlcNAc moiety of N-linked glycosylation and the GPI-anchor of cellular membrane proteins.

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